Vieux Fort South and Gros Islet are through to the final of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) sponsored Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc Island Cup following the semifinals played at the Gros Islet playing field last Sunday. The two teams booked their tickets with wins over Mabouya Valley and Marchand respectively.
In the first encounter, refereed by Timothy Joseph, Vieux Fort South (VFS) defeated a determined Mabouya Valley team 3 – 0.
Antonio Joseph, from VFS put his team ahead in the 5th minute and despite Mabouya Valley’s counter attack to equalize the scoreline remained 1 – 0 at the end of the half time whistle.
On resumption Antonius Myers put VFS further ahead in the 69th minute; while Paulson Joseph sealed the deal in the 88th minute.
Following the encounter, Head Coach for VFS Emmanuel Belase spoke to the VOICE about his team’s performance on the day. This is what he had to say:
“I am satisfied we have gone through to the finals, but looking at the team’s performance, I still think we have some work to do, especially in the attacking third, before Saturday’s final especially ”.
“Mabouya Valley had a better game this time around compared to when we played them in the quarterfinal round, the quality of our players stood better in that game against Mabouya Valley”.
“The players realized when we got out of the quarterfinal round and into the semis that there was a different level of motivation so the players realized we have something to play for, the composition of the team was different, and the performance was a lot better compared to the quarterfinal stage”
“In terms of the finals, we are going to prepare for which ever one that come up; like I normally say, football is played on the day, we just have to wait for the results for the second finalist to find out how we work based on the opponent we going to get”
The VOICE also spoke to Mabouya Valley Head Coach, Uranus Jn Baptiste about his team’s performance. This is what he had to say.
“Today was just not our day, we did not take our chances, Vieux Fort South had three chances and they put them away. I can’t say much about VFS, they just came from a Blackheart tournament; they still running on high with confidence. The technical staff will go back to the drawing board and prepare for the third place silverware versus Marchand, I have no choice.”
The second semifinal saw top of the points table Gros Islet playing the fourth placed team and defending champions Marchand. Both teams would have themselves to blame for not putting away the many scoring opportunities at either end of the pitch during the first half as the score remained goalless following referee Vivian Robinson’s whistle.
On the resumption we saw a glimpse of urgency as both teams looked to stamp their authority on the game. However, it was Marchand who nosed ahead in the 70th minute with a goal by No.8 Kershane Sealy.
With 20 minutes still to play and a spot into the final up for grabs, Gros Islet upped the tempo just a notch and in the process had three consecutive corners. When the defending champions Marchand thought they had this one sealed, Gros Islet had other ideas as No. 9 Troy Greenidge scored the much needed equalizer in the 89th minute to send the Gros Islet fans into frenzy.
Following the regulation plus four minutes of added time the game went straight into the penalty shootout which resulted in Gros Islet winning 4 – 3.
The grand final which is slated for 7.00 p.m. on Saturday 21st at the Phillip Marcellin Grounds will feature four time Blackheart champion Vieux Fort South and Blackheart reigning Big 8 champion Gros Islet battling for the championship and the monetary prize at stake, while Mabouya Valley and Marchand will play each other for the Third Place silverware at 5.00 p.m.